A Sociopath’s Guide to the Holidays

The holidays can be a stressful time of year.  So many things to accomplish, so many people to see, so many presents to buy; and so little time to do it!  It’s crazy that we do all this because some little dude was born in a barn a million years ago, but tradition is tradition after all.  I’m here to give you tips and tricks that will make you the star of the party.

Dress the part.
Nothing you do matters unless you do it looking nice, which is something that homeless people will never understand.  If you walk into your grandma’s house wearing some poverty sweater you found at Target or Meijer or some other trash store, your family is going to talk tons of shit behind your back; and quite frankly, you’d deserve it.  They might even kick you out of the party; I don’t know how ruthless your family is.  Neither of us want that to happen, so listen up.

As a rule of thumb, always dress as if you’re going on a date with Brad Pitt; this goes for both men and women.  And guys, before you say anything, don’t act like you’d turn down dinner with Brad Pitt.  Don’t lie to yourself like that.  Brad Pitt expects pomp and class from his dates.  No t-shirts, no slippers, and for God’s sake, no cargo pants.  In fact, I’ve created a helpful list of people that are allowed to wear cargo pants without looking stupid:
1.             Actual soldiers in the military
That’s it.  Those are the only people.  Have some respect for yourself, and some respect for Jesus.

Pro Tip: Go to the mall about a week before Christmas.  Walk into the classiest clothing store you can find and browse the shelves.  Then, all you have to do is wait for some schmuck to spend a ton of money on a nice shirt, follow him out of the store, and bump into him hard enough that he drops his bag; then, take the shirt.  Some people might consider this “stealing,” but I saw Matt Damon do pretty much the exact same thing in Ocean’s Eleven, so that can’t be true.  Matt Damon’s never stolen a thing in his life, except the hearts of his audience.

Know a bit about fine food and drink.
The key to any holiday party; or any dinner gathering, for that matter; is making everyone else think you’re smarter than you actually are.  Chances are, your family thinks you’re an idiot, and they’re probably right.  That’s why you’re reading this article, isn’t it?  It’s your job to change their mind.  This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but my personal favorite is to demonstrate that you know a lot more about fancy food and drink than everyone else there.  Nothing is more intimidating than someone who is clearly smarter than you.  Here are some things you can do to class yourself up.

  • Tell anyone that will listen about the season finale of Top Chef, and about how the contestants weren’t “adventurous enough” in the kitchen. Say you could’ve done better.  Say this multiple times.
  • Talk about how you’ve spent the past year “refining your palette.”
  • Buy a cheap bottle of wine from the supermarket, put a super expensive sticker on it, and talk about the various aromas that you experience while you swirl it around the glass.
  • Insist on bringing and using your own glass; give a small chuckle when the host offers you one of their glasses. Say, “that simply won’t do.  Not for this vintage.”
  • Use words like “full-bodied” and “astringent” to describe the wine.
  • Comment on the presentation of the food. Call it “sublime.”
  • Google a list of spices and ask people if they put them in a dish (i.e. “Aunt Pam, do I taste a hint of saffron in your turkey this year?”).
  • Talk about the reduction that the turkey was basted in. Say that it is “divine.”

Remember: nobody really knows what they’re talking about when it comes to fancy wines and expensive food.  When in doubt, keep it simple.  Lie.  Like everything in life, it’s not a lie if they don’t find out.

Pro Tip: Buy a turkey from somewhere like Boston Market or some place that cooks those kinds of things.  If you really want to get regal with it, buy a dish that is a bit more exotic; think pheasant or quail.  Then, watch a YouTube video of how to make it look decorative; put parsley on the side, whatever; and tell everyone you made it at home.  When people say that you shouldn’t have gone through the effort, insist it was nothing.  Boom.  Party star.

Buy better presents than everyone else.
On Christmas Day, don’t be afraid to resort to trickery and/or mischief.  Are you having a White Elephant or Secret Santa exchange?  Insist on a small price ceiling for gifts, i.e. $20.  After doing so, spend at least double that on yours.  This will ensure that your gift will be the best; and if it isn’t the best, at least you can subtly brag that it was the most expensive.  The key is to sound bashful, like you’re almost embarrassed that you spent above the limit.  Say things like “I felt bad spending that much, but I knew how much he/she would like it.”  This is a foolproof way to impress your family.  Oh, say you were “overcome with the spirit of giving.”  People eat that shit up.

Pro Tip: Use the term “cute” to describe other people’s gifts.  A well-placed “Oh, that’s cute” goes a long way in undermining a gift’s sentimental value, which in turn increases your gift’s value in comparison.  Also, congratulate people on a “good effort.”  This implies that while they tried their best, they kind of shit the bed with the gift.  Make sure nobody says this to you.  It’s fucking devastating.

In closing, have fun this holiday season.  Give some presents, see some family, burn down a pine tree, whatever you want to do.  And make sure to shower me in gift cards/cold hard cash.

Oh, and if you need some ideas on how to spruce up that party you’re thinking about having, refer to this handy dandy list for a few helpful hints:


The Time I Met Bruce Lee


It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you.  Too long.  I haven’t been in touch lately, and I blame Bruce Lee.

I met martial arts legend Bruce Lee at a Chuck-E-Cheese by my house.  Yes, THE Bruce Lee.  He was there for his nephew’s birthday party, and I was there to defend my Skee-Ball championship.  I’d like to take the time to point out that I beat over ten 7 and 8 year olds to obtain the crown, and I’d also like to establish that the fact I was 24 in no way gave me an unfair advantage over those kids.  Everyone is equal on the Skee-Ball court.

So there I was playing some Ball; killing it, obviously; when I saw Bruce.  I recognized him immediately, because he was featured prominently in a karate class that I was taking online at the time.  As excited as I was, I had to play it cool.  I knew we’d get along fabulously; he’s Chinese, I love General Tso’s chicken; but I knew that he probably had people fawning over him everywhere he went.  I was determined to be more than a fan boy.  I was going to leave a lasting impression.

My solution: I decided I was going to throw a flying kick straight at Bruce Lee’s back.  I saw two possible scenarios, and both promised me fame and riches.  That’s what we like to call a win-win, Karen.

Scenario 1: He blocks me.  Let’s be honest: this is the more likely of the two.  I figured that he would sense me coming; he’s Bruce Lee after all, and the Chinese are a naturally magical people; and block the blow.  But even if he blocked me, he would have to be impressed by my initiative.  Here I am, a white male of only 24 years and limited eKarate knowledge, attacking martial arts legend Bruce Lee?  That’s unprecedented confidence.  Surely, this would lead him to tutor me.  We would develop a close relationship; dare I say it, father-son or at least brother-brother; and travel the world in style.  I would be envied and revered by fighters around the globe.  I would be Bruce Two.  I would be the Karate Kid.

Scenario 2: I kick him.  I actually kick Bruce Lee.  I beat him at his own game.  That’s like if the guy who played Frodo Baggins windmill dunked on LeBron James.  But I did it.  I kicked Bruce Lee.  This isn’t even in sanctioned competition, this is in Chuck-E-Cheese, where street rules are the letter of the law and chaos reigns.  And I kicked Bruce fucking Lee.  He might get angry, he might get upset, he might beat the living shit out of me; that isn’t the point, Karen.  The point is, I kicked Bruce Lee and everybody around the world would know it.  I would get thousands of interview requests, which I would thrive at because of my rugged good looks and quick wit.  Kelly Ripa would love me.  Brad Pitt would know me by name.  I would go to Brad Pitt’s house.

So I jumped into the air, threw out my foot, and flew toward Bruce.  And I connected.  He was propelled onto the table where his nephew was opening gifts, his head hit, and he was knocked out cold.  I had won.  I danced around that Chuck-E-Cheese for a good ten minutes.  I high-fived strangers.  I went down slides.  I peed in the ball pit.  For ten glorious minutes, I was on top of the world.

I defeated Bruce Lee.

Turns out, it wasn’t Bruce Lee.  It was just an old Asian guy.  He wasn’t even Chinese.  When I kicked him and his head hit the table, he died.  I killed that Bruce Lee lookalike, Karen.  Kicked him dead.  It was a sad, avoidable tragedy; frankly, one whose blame falls squarely on the shoulders of that old Asian man and his family.  I’m willing to bet I wasn’t the first person that made that mistake, and if that old dude had survived, I wouldn’t have been the last either.  When it comes down to it, he should have been wearing an indicator; a pin, a shirt, a sash, etc.; that identified him as NOT Bruce Lee.  This guy was a dead ringer for Bruce.  Karen, he was practically begging to be attacked.

Now, I’m in jail and it’s all that old fucker’s fault.  I’ve seen things in here that even the real Bruce Lee would be powerless to stop.  So I need your help, Karen.  I need you to find me a good lawyer, someone like Bill Clinton or the guy who stars in Law & Order.  Is Bill Clinton a lawyer?  If he isn’t, he should be.  Tell him that from me, Karen.

I need your help.  Because as it turns out, the guys in here don’t care that I knocked out Bruce Lee.